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Illinois lawmakers back legalized sports gambling

The Illinois House and Senate have approved a massive gambling expansion bill. Governor J.B. Pritzker has already announced his intention to sign it into law.

Senate Bill 690, sponsored by Indian Creek Democratic Senator Terry Link, which originally focused on changes to property tax rates has been expanded significantly through a number of amendments. This sets out plans to permit sports wagering at existing and new casinos in Illinois, as well as at racetracks and online.

“I’ve only been doing this for 20 years to get this done, and it’s a little emotional,” said Link during floor discussion of the bill. He estimated that gambling expansion, along with other revenue-raising measures in the bill could net Illinois more than $12 billion in the next six years.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 87-27 on Saturday, while the House on Sunday followed with an approval vote of 46-10. Governor J.B. Pritzker is widely expected to sign off on the bill later this month, which will make Illinois one of about a dozen US states to legalize sports betting since Supreme Court ruling last year allowed it.

SB 690 enables the Illinois Gaming Board to issue six different types of licences to operators seeking to offer sports betting state-wide. The fee for a master licence will cost $10 million and will be valid for four years.

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